20 Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinners

20 Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinners

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Kelli Foster
Nov 30, 2015
(Image credit: Faith Durand)

In the wake of Thanksgiving, let's give ourselves a break and make weeknight meals a little easier and a little lighter. These 20 vegan dinner recipes come together easily and are satisfying yet vegetable-driven.

There's a vibrant skillet paella, sweet potato tacos, spicy stir-fried cauliflower, and slow-cooker vegetable stew — all wholesome and colorful dishes heavy on vegetables that will leave you full and satisfied — no food coma required.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

1. Vegetarian Paella with Red Peppers & Chickpeas

This Spanish rice dish is traditionally made with seafood, chicken, or sausage, but this version swaps the meat and fish for fresh produce and legumes. It's a veggie-filled dinner — perfect for any night of the week.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

2. Soba Noodle Soup with Mushrooms & Chard

When you're in the mood for lighter fare and a meal to battle the chill in the air, this noodle soup will do the trick. Flavored with mushrooms and ginger, this dinner comes together in a snap.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

3. Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce

These vibrant sweet-and-savory tacos prove that sweet potatoes can (and should) be far more than just a side dish.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

This creamy coconut curried stew is full of tender vegetables and chickpeas, along with the warming flavors of ginger and garlic. A batch of this stew makes it worth pulling out the slow cooker and clearing some space on the counter. Make enough for leftovers!

(Image credit: The Woks of Life )

5. Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Stir-Fry

With the help of onions, garlic, chili, ginger, and scallions, this stir-fry turns roasted cauliflower from a side dish to a crowd-pleasing main.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

6. Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens

This simple, rustic weeknight meal gets an extra nutritional boost from mixing in whatever dark, leafy greens you have handy.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

7. Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts

This simple-yet-aromatic salad combines plump kernels of farro with silky roasted eggplant and sweet caramelized onions for a dish that shines on its own.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

8. Michael Natkin's Spicy Stir-Fried Zucchini

This zucchini dish is inspired by banchan, those cute little side dishes served at Korean restaurants. With just five ingredients, it comes together quickly and brings with it a spicy kick. Serve it over your favorite grains to make it a meal.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

9. Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon

Are you in the mood for some comfort food? Of course you are! This meal mixes fresh baby spinach and chickpeas — slow-cooked with ginger, garlic, and onion in a creamy coconut milk sauce — finished off with a healthy dash of lemon, and served over a sweet potato. It's comforting and features your daily dose of vegetables, all in one dish.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

10. Tacos with Roasted Winter Vegetables & Red Cabbage Slaw

These tacos bring a pop of color and texture to the winter table. This recipe is versatile; it can be made with any winter vegetable you have on hand!

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

11. Slow-Cooker Vegan Pumpkin Curry

If there's one slow-cooker recipe to keep in your back pocket this winter, this is it. This hands-off meal is a colorful stew with just the right amount of spice.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

12. Red Lentil Soup

Fast-cooking lentil soup is a satisfying and simple meal to put together, even when you're in a rush. It’s an ideal go-to when you want something hearty and healthy at the same time.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

13. Baked Red Lentil Falafel Salad

Skip the pita pocket and serve crispy falafel balls on a vibrant seasonal salad of kale, carrot, and thinly sliced onion. Top it all with a tangy tahini dressing.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

14. Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

There are few better comfort foods than Vietnamese phở. Between the broth, noodles, and assorted garnishes — like onions, herbs, chiles, and lime — this flavor-packed soup is a wonderful interplay of textures and flavors.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

15. Wild Rice and Mixed Greens Salad

This salad does indeed have a lot going on, but somehow all the ingredients really work well together and balance each other out. The nutty-flavored wild rice and hearty chickpeas make this a dinner-worthy salad.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

16. Soba, Sesame, and Carrot Salad

Everyone needs at least one quick-and-easy soba salad in their dinner lineup. Toss soba noodles with sesame oil, shaved carrots, scallions, and a little soy sauce for this tasty chilled noodle salad.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

17. April Bloomfield's Steamed and Raw Radish Salad with Kimchi and Sesame

This is an especially vibrant salad, both in color and flavor, and one that's strong enough to stand alone as a main course. Cooked radishes, raw radishes, and crunchy lettuce are all tossed together in a fiery kimchi dressing.

(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

18. Lentil, Mushroom & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

With its rich, mushroom-studded filling tucked under a layer of mashed sweet potato, this dish has all the hallmarks of a good shepherd's pie, but it's completely vegan — and includes a secret ingredient that adds body and creaminess to the filling, without any cream.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

19. Kale and Black Bean Tacos with Chimichurri

Bright and garlicky chimichurri gives these avocado and black bean tacos a hit of heat and tang. It's an easy way to wake up a vegan meal with a punch of herbaceous flavor.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

20. Anna Jones' Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad

This salad gets its inspiration from pad Thai, but unlike pad Thai, there aren't any noodles. Instead, this crisp-and-crunchy salad is loaded with ribbons of zucchini and carrot, mild cabbage, earthy bell peppers, and some sweet-sour zing from grapefruit and lime.

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